16 July 2023

Southampton’s inflatable run for the neonatal unit

Last weekend, 14 family and friends ran the Southampton 5k inflatable run in support of our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Princess Anne Hospital after having met on the unit in 2022 with premature babies Nancy and Lincoln. Here are their stories…

Lincoln’s journey

Jo and Dan Rennison live in Southampton and as first-time parents, were looking forward to meeting their son.

Jo says, “At 28 weeks and 2 days, Lincoln was born via emergency c-section at Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton. Scans showed that I had contracted pre-eclampsia, which is a condition that causes high blood pressure.

This can be very serious, and it was a very fine balance of when to act. After hours of tests, monitoring, and preparation, Lincoln was born at 5.40am on 13 October as my platelet count had dropped dangerously low.

He was immediately transferred to the NICU, where he stayed for 13 weeks before we were discharged on 13 January 2023.

During his stay, he required a mixture of treatments including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), high flow and low flow oxygen to develop his lungs before we were discharged home. He remains on low flow oxygen.

Whilst in hospital he also had two MRI scans, one as Lincoln’s brain has grown at a slower rate that his skull, and one for a growth study that he was a part of. Thankfully the MRI confirmed that Lincoln’s brain function is normal, just the size is different, so we are hopeful that it won’t cause him any trouble in the future.

Since being discharged, Lincoln has had a post discharge check, weekly checks from the children’s community nursing team to monitor his oxygen levels, four overnight hospital stays, and three ambulance rides!

It was during our time in the Southampton NICU that we met Sarah and Joe and struck up a friendship. We both agree, there are no words that could possibly describe how truly amazing the NICU staff are!

From caring for the babies, to going above and beyond by getting to know and caring for us as parents, and our families. We are forever grateful and in debt to them. We owe our lives, and our babies lives to the staff at Princess Anne Hospital.”

Nancy’s journey

First-time parents Sarah and Joe from Southampton were delighted when they fell pregnant in 2022.

Previously Sarah had had an eptopic pregnancy, which is where a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb. This ruptured and staff in Southampton saved her life through emergency surgery.

Sarah’s second pregnancy was closely monitored while the baby was developing, then on 27 November 2022, she suddenly went into labour at only 29 weeks and 4 days.

Baby Nancy was born prematurely, so spent eight weeks in the NICU at Southampton.

Nancy required four weeks of low flow oxygen, and two X-rays on her stomach but no other treatment. Her main goals were to grow and learn to feed!

They were discharged on 26 January, a few days before her due date.

About the Southampton 5k race

After they met on the NICU last year, both Jo and Sarah have become close friends, and hope their babies will also be lifelong friends!

Jo adds, “We had been talking for a while about how we could do something to give back to the NICU unit.

That’s when we chose the 5k inflatable course in Southampton because it looked fun, whilst keeping it realistic! None of us are marathon runners, so this was a challenge we could all enjoy together.

It was hard work but we finished in 58 minutes, and so far have raised £2,500!”

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